We are living in a world where everything seems to be linked with the software. The way we commute, the manner in which we communicate with our loved ones, our shopping, and even food that is placed on our table.
Almost every aspect of our lives seems to be affected by quality software. Using dynamic software, you can work on several kinds of software on similar hardware. It must be compatible with it.
In this review, we will read about some of the best open-source software. These kinds of software are developed by developers who decide to release it for free. If the software is open source, then it means you can download it and use it free of cost.
The need to pay any loyalty fees or bonus is not required. This trend started during the 1990s when the software was being developed at a rapid pace. Thanks to that, today, more than 90% of web servers use open-source software.
However, open-source does not mean that it is entirely free. The original designers ensure that they have the permissive software license. This allows several thousand developers to design something awesome.
This helps in ensuring that the software is safe and secure. Designers are able to scan the software and report bugs immediately. Not to mention, designers also come up with some exciting new features that can even compete with pay software.
In this best open source software list, you can find some of the popular options. Each of the tools mentioned comes with its own niche. This will help you choose the right kind of software for your project.
Best Open Source Software: Our Top Picks 👌
1. Brave Browser
Brave Browser (Download Here) is perhaps the best open-source software in the market in 2021. With web browsing seemingly becoming in demand with each passing day, releasing a new player in an exchange of Chrome and other noteworthy open source software is a brave thing to do.
That is precisely what the makers of Brave Browser did. What we liked about this software is that you can do those small things very differently. It pays attention to detail. Whether you are an amateur or professional coder or user, you love using these kinds of tools.
It blocks those annoying advertisements, tracks your websites, and comes with a basic, but powerful user interface. We found the tool quite fast and smooth. That is because it is designed using a Chromium browser.
However, at times, you can feel the speed lagging behind other players. As far as the security aspect goes, it comes with a built-in Tor function. The main benefit of using Brave Browser is that you can use extensions available on Chrome.
You can see some advertisements that appear on the Brave Browser and receive a small crypto coin in return for that. You can also give the revenue collected to your favorite website.
We were highly impressed with its ability to disable trackers, block those frustrating advertisements, and provide support to thousands of built-in Chrome extensions. Unfortunately, the software has its own advertisements.
Can we recommend this best open source software to our readers? Why not? When you want to experience a private open-source browsing experience, then Brave Browser is the best choice.
LibreOffice (Download Here) is next on our list of the best open-source software, and it is one of the best free office suites around. At times, you wished that you had a suite of office software that you could complete your everyday tasks.
If you look at the market, then you can find several tools that can replicate MS Office. But, we found LibreOffice a sublime alternative to that. Today, it is in great demand, and we are not surprised by that.
Lately, there has been a string of updates in this open-source software, thanks to the unusual attention from a barrage of users. We were quite satisfied with the myriad formats that are evolving.
Perhaps, the thing that is left out is cloud storage. You have adequate support for spreadsheets, databases, documents, presentations, formulae, and others.
Few users felt that it consists of more features when compared to MS Office. Maybe, it is able to preserve the file format of the documents better than MS Office. We do not have the exact answer but are assuming it may be the reason.
Sadly, editing the files online can be slightly confusing the first few times. When you get used to the editing aspect of it, you can edit them effectively. An online editing option was added to the software, but you need to be technically well-off to use it.
You can save your files in several formats. Apart from that, it comes with options for interface styles too. Using the old-school layout, you can find everything on your screen. Navigation does not become a hassle using your keyboard or mouse.
It comes with a wide range of office apps, it provides ample support to MS files, and there are several templates for you to work on. But, it is not cloud-based. We found LibreOffice truly exceptional, flexible, and completely free for commercial purposes.
You may want to try this best open source software today, and you never know, you will never look elsewhere.
3. VLC Media Player
The VideoLAN project designed VLC Media Player (Download Here) or the VideoLAN Client media player. You might have heard of it at least once or maybe even used it. This media file is hugely popular and free, and you can get support for all kinds of file formats.
You can also modify the audio or video playback likewise with the plugins. This media player offers you several options to view and see audio and video files.
You can use them in any format. It is also suitable for streaming media like radio stations and podcasts.
We liked the playback control that is present on the open-source software. Users can modify what they want to see or display. They can do that by adding subtitle files. It also supports DivX streaming and MPEG.
You can also play the video when they are getting downloaded. ZIP files can be played without having to unzip them one by one. This is more like a shot in the arm. You are using a media tool that is free but comes with a barrage of features.
There is almost something for everything. It is hard to deny that. This software offers you the ideal world for everything to work as you want. We are delighted to let our readers know that it is upgraded with features.
You can always expect something or the other from a VLC media player. A new feature on this software is allowing you to stream other devices and 360-degree video support. This tool offers you anything that you require, like streaming, downloading, and format support.
It is tough enough to become your main media player for video and audio files for a very long time.
Summing up, this open-source software works well on hardware, runs on any media file, and you can also control playback. This is an open-source media player, which can help you see or listen to anything you want.
GIMP (Download Here) is next on our list in this discussion. This fantastic open source software was released in the market in 1996. It is an image editing tool, and its flexibility is loved and adored by the Linux user’s world over.
GIMP is the best open source software alternative to Adobe Photoshop. Yes, we do realize we are comparing a giant with a decent tool. But, it comes with a massive range of features that is hard to ignore.
When you are somebody dealing with artwork or planning to become a professional photographer, then this tool is on the cards. You have customizable brushes, many layers, filters, and automatic tools, so on.
You will like the manner in which you can retouch your images, crop images, and adjust the tools. If you have been using similar tools, then there is more for you. Users can work on the bezier curves and animation package, and others.
Yes, the interface is not the friendliest, but you can customize it. Thanks to the community members who are always on their toes, ready to update things. Not to mention, they have brought about a wide range of plugins free to download.
It comes packed with tutorials, and if you are stuck with something, there is a way out of it. This software comes fully customizable interface, the masks are filtered beautifully, and the editing tools are the best at the moment.
However, similar to Linux open-source software, this one has interface issues. We cannot tell you how much we liked this image edition tool. So, why don’t you simply download GIMP and find out the truth and know why it is more popular than Adobe Photoshop.
When you are in search of a robust free image editing tool, it gets your back.
Shotcut (Download Here) is a free video editor tool. We were impressed with this magnificent tool. It demonstrates how a community can come together and develop a platform. In the previous version, it came with few features only.
Of late, they have infused in it, many features that make it spectacular. For example, it comes with dockable panels, an intuitive timeline, and video editing. Users can compile an audio or video file without losing any effects.
You can also grade your operations and color the key. Apart from that, you can trim and splice the images. We were also happy with working on different formats of audio, video, and photo media.
You do not have to spend a fortune to use a high-performance video editor. Users can edit videos to the desired length before modifying the format. The projects can be edited using filters and effects.
You can import the audio, video, and images easily onto the device you are using. Not to mention, you can create several tracks for your files using the tools available. You can also split clips and trim them as and when you want.
You need to select a filter and then do your editing on it. We found it very difficult to fault this splendid tool. However, we felt the lack of optimized profiles.
You can do a wide range of activities using this open-source software like the preview in HDMI and capture, support hundreds of codecs, and have advanced effects.
The learning curve in this striking tool is steep. When you are keen to work on video editing projects, then you can use Windows Movie Maker or Shotcut. You have nothing to lose. It comes with the features that you need along with a raft of additional ones.
Shotcut is a slick open-source software that enables you to work effortlessly on video editing projects. What are you waiting for?
Audacity (Download Here) was launched in the market two decades ago. It is heartening to know that it still remains one of the most highly acclaimed open-source software. To describe it in one sentence, it is a free audio editor that can work on all the major operating systems.
Once you have installed this package on your PC or laptop, you can breeze through because everything is right in front of your eyes. You have edit options, recording features, and enhancing your sound files.
Since it comes with a massive community that consists of several developers, you can expect instant support. You can add features using a wide range of third-party extensions. This open-source software is highly useful for those involved in music, audio, and video creation.
Few users felt that the user interface is intimidating. It looks complicated, but as you delve into the software, you find high-performance tools that can help you complete your chores in no time.
Surprisingly, several musicians and podcasts developers swear by this tool. We were impressed with the fact that you could record audio from your microphone as well as computer playback.
Nothing special about it, but with the sample rates high as 192,000Hz, is unheard of. You can also import your files using different formats. Not to mention, you can modify your data depending on the kind of features you require.
For example, you can edit several tracks, fade tracks, label tracks, and sync too. Users can also get rid of those annoying humming and hissing noises in the files. You can design perfect music when your recording environment is not suitable.
In other words, you can find anything that a professional musician can dream of in this software. We also liked the crash recovery and plugin support. You can save your work and then export it using a lossless or lossy format.
The kind of music project you are working on does not matter because you can create music, audiobooks, podcasts, and others. We highly recommend this as one of the best open-source software for its wide range of capabilities.
Not to mention, it works flawlessly on Windows, macOS, and Linux. Did we like Audacity? When you have ample support for direct streaming, enabling the working of most of the audio files, and expandable with plugins, why won’t you like it?
Of course, this open-source software has no mobile app. When you are looking for a robust and stable audio editor for your podcasts and music, then you know that Audacity has got you covered.
This is an excellent alternative for those ridiculously priced audio editors and is very simple to use.
KeePass (Download Here) is another best open source software that we found during our research. This is a password manager tool. This exemplary software stands out from the crowd for its ability to set up quickly and feature list.
This tool comes with industry-standard AES encryption and two-factor authentication. It enables you to keep your information safe from prying eyes. Apart from that, we were keenly impressed by the fact that it is portable.
We also liked the ability to store your database using a USB stick. There is an extensive choice of plugins in this tool. They can be saved on the cloud storage of your browser.
You will like the fact that this open-source software comes with two-factor authentication, is portable, and has basic features.
Unfortunately, it comes with no cloud support. KeePass is a great storage and password generator tool. You may want to download it today and find out how it is able to help your cause.
Thunderbird (Download Here) is very similar to Microsoft Outlook. Those of you who have used it might find this open source software quite familiar. This is a product of Mozilla and comes with an open twist, making it all the more exciting.
Like its other product Firefox, it has some exciting features that enable you to work effortlessly on your projects. Users can link event updates using the calendar or verify the news. When you want to send a large file, then you can upload it and drop it into your message.
As you can see, you can work seamlessly. Overall, this tool can save all your messages in a single inbox; it can connect the calendar events, and comes with a sleek interface.
FileZilla (Download Here) is another best open source software that we were inclined to have on our list. This is a file transfer protocol (FTP) client that lets you manage systems through the remote. In a sense, when you want to design your own website, then you need FTP operations.
Using FTP can be highly frustrating at times. It provides you with a smooth and flawless working experience. Hence, we feel that it is one of the best open-source software in that aspect.
It comes with most of the latest features that encourage major file transfer, directory browsing, and filters for your filenames. These are very useful for website designers and entrepreneurs.
Some users felt that the interface is slightly confusing and not straightforward. It may be true to a certain extent, but when you spend some time on it, you get to know it better. When you want to move a file, you need to drag and drop it on the location.
FileZilla comes with a wide range of resumes, dropped connections, a functional and straightforward interface, and file editing is done remotely. But, it is slightly obsolete. This open-source FTP client is refreshingly user-friendly and works effortlessly on primary OS like macOS, Linux, and Windows.
Linux (Download Here) is our final open-source software. You would have heard about it. Not to mention, we have referred it several times in this review itself. A list of open-source software cannot be complete without mentioning Linux.
This is one of the most iconic software around the world that has been around with us since 1990. This operating system has been able to divulge into a massive family of OS that works on several devices and solutions.
The OS is usually associated as workable by only programmers and technically sound people. Today, they make genuine attempts to bring the ordinary mass together to this powerful, surprising, and sought-after software.
During the initial days, Linux worked thanks to a few developers. Not many were keen to get their hands on it because Windows was dominating the market. Thankfully, it has changed today, with many broad-minded coders offering their time and effort into it.
Apart from that, few famous names in the PC segment have invested in it and are selling it on their products for the masses. This way, people are getting exposed to decent open-source software and appreciating it.
The main difference between Linux and Windows is that it used a different base code. This ensures that this OS is safe and secure. You will not get to hear that hackers have penetrated into this software at all.
Many users complained back then about its user interface, but with cloud applications taking the front seat today, they do not bother about these menial things. We were happy with the excellent features, robust security features, and accessibility.
There is, unfortunately, an overwhelming option of distros, which can ruin your user experience.
The open-source operating system is highly suggested when you are looking at a safe, impenetrable, feature-rich software.
If you are searching for a 3D art and animation open source software, then we have the perfect choice for you. Blender (Download Here) is a wonderful tool and an ideal software in 2021. This 3D art and animation tool supports modeling, simulation, animation, video editing, so on.
It also features multi-resolution, support for Planar tracking, and Tripod solvers. We want to mention early on that this is slightly technical. So, if you are a newbie, then you might want to consider it again.
But, Blender is free of cost, and when your project or work involves art and animation in 3D, then the time invested in learning this software is worth spent. If you have worked with similar tools before, then this one should be easy to grasp.
The most annoying part of working as an animation artist is using software that does not come with shortcuts on the keyboard. To even do small editing or modification, you have to incorporate several processes.
Most of the tools in the market lag in user control. Hence, artists keep changing their tools like the weather. Using this open-source software, you are giving yourself a shot in the arm.
You have a myriad of tricks and features that can enhance your images and artwork. When you want to impress your clients or colleagues with your work, you can make use of different patterns and textures.
When you are not happy with your previously done work, then you can enhance it. You can do so by importing the file into this tool. Remember, you are not doing anybody else a favor by using Blender.
You could even be asked about Blender tools in an interview because of its intense popularity now. What you can do in Maya can be quickly done here, free. Why do you want to spend $3000 on a costly tool, when you have a similar option?
Having considered all that, Blender is a tough nut to crack, but once you have delved inside, you can find yourself in the myriad of tools and features found on expensive products like 3DStudios and Maya.
Do you want to go with Blender? You can do so as it is high in demand, comes with a 3D software, and easy learning.
12. GNU Compiler Collection
GNU Compiler Collection (GCC) (Download Here) is a collection of tools for work in programming languages like Ada, C, and C++. If you are a computer science student or programmer, then you might want to download it today and benefit from it.
Let us look at it briefly. This open-source software is suitable for Fortran and other programming languages. You can use it to work on the cross and native targets. It provides you with exceptional sources for free every week.
If you are still not convinced about this first-rate open source software, then you will be stunned by reading the positive feedback offered by users. One user, who works as a coder, in a reputed IT firm says that GCC is one of the most powerful, free software that he has seen.
Coders like him are indebted to it. That is not surprising because C/C++ designers tend to rely on it for their programs. The best part is that most of the users mentioned that they have rarely faced issues.
Another user pointed out that GCC is the number one choice for C/C++ developers because you can work on most of the operating systems. It is the same on most of the platforms, where you have to rewrite the code when using specific features for each system.
GNU Compiler Collection is a versatile tool. Since it comes with sturdy backing in the form of GNU, you know that you are dealing with something that is worthwhile.
You will be delighted to know that this open source software has been ported on more of the processors and operating systems than any compiler in the market.
Python (Download Here) is another functional programming and scripting language. Whether you are a college student or a working professional, you would have heard about this open-source tool, something or the other.
You will be amazed to know that it is a very powerful programming language. Thanks to machine learning, it is getting in demand by users of different segments. This program is freely available for everybody to use.
It is operated by the python software foundation, which was founded in 1998. It is impressive at times to note that some of the software mentioned in this list date back more than three decades.
This software does not require compilation before you execute it. You can also work on it using its interactive mode. You can write the program in the command line and view the immediate output.
It is easy to read and is developer-friendly and is hence widely used. This open-source software is a stable programming language in the market as of today. If you are a newbie programmer, you might want to consider learning Python because of its code usage.
It comes with different tutorials that are available, and you can follow them to become knowledgeable about them. Because of its simplicity, users prefer to use this open-source software.
When we are on the topic of Best Open Source Software in 2021, then we mustn’t miss out on PHP (Download Here). This is a scripting language specially used for developing websites and HTML content. This HTML language is quick, flexible, safe, and dependable.
It provides you with the desired results that you are looking for. You will be amazed to know that it is on par with Slack and Spotify. We were highly impressed with the file management system of this programming language.
You can easily log in using the administrative webpage. To do that, you need to purchase the PHP Review script. You can then do the settings accordingly. The admin panel provides you with the ratings, reviewers, and reviews.
The workload is absorbed seamlessly, and it offers you a free and enjoyable programming option. The user experience is 10/10. When you want to modify the review script, you can do so yourself.
Similar to Python, this is easy to learn. You will be surprised at how quickly you were able to create your own HTML code. From the above, it is evident that PHP is one of the most in-demand open source software for website designers in the market.
When you want to use a Hypertext Preprocessor tool that is responsive, has several color themes, has a quick load time, and has ample customization options, you know what to do.
Avidemux (Download Here) is next on our Best Open Source Software list. This is an open-source video editing tool that works effortlessly on major operating systems, including Mac, Windows, and Linux. This software can support a barrage of file formats like MP4, MPEG, AVI, DVD, and others.
If you are somebody who is planning to become a video editor or artist, then this tool can be useful for your cause. When you want to configure your video, then this is a good option. We were quite happy with the interface, options for encoding, and filters.
Unfortunately, it comes with no timeline, and there are no transitions or creative effects. This software is suitable for making cuts and edits on your video. This is also suitable for students working on video projects.
When you want to do simple editing work, then Avidemux is your best choice. Users can perform tasks like clipping videos, modifying the footage, and setting the start along with the end markers.
You can also edit the video by copying, cutting, as well as deleting the sections. Not to mention, you can append the clips if you want. You can also choose audio tracks and then configure them as you want.
The menu options in the video segment of this fantastic tool come with practical features like noise reduction, sound increase, noise cancellation, etc. it is quite impressive, but you will like the export options.
It gives you adequate control over the video and audio that you want to edit. Should you make use of Avidemux? When you want to use a seasoned tool that comes with all the features packed into a single place, suitable for severe videographers and new learners.
16. Apache OpenOffice
Apache OpenOffice (Download Here) is the last open source software that we will be looking at in this review. This is more of an office productivity package having different programs like Excel, Word, and Calc.
We were instantly impressed with this productivity tool. Many users feel that it is an ideal MS Office alternative. Yes, it is free of cost, but the feature set is more advanced. It is no surprise that more than 95% of the MS Office users would switch to OpenOffice without missing a beat.
Some of the benefits of using this open-source software are that it comes for free, and there is no ribbon menu, which can be annoying to look at. It is also compatible with most of the file formats.
Sadly, Apache OpenOffice comes with no cloud support, there is minimal collaboration, and it is slightly behind LibreOffice’s featured face. It feels and looks like Office. You would read and process your files on the two suites, without knowing that you worked on Apache OpenOffice.
The main applications in this tool are Writer, Calc, and Impress. You can make use of this tool from the splash screen using the open file. The themes, styles, and galleries are almost similar to the ones found in LibreOffice.
When you want reasonable control on the documents, then you can easily find the tools you require. The Calc does an excellent job of reading the files. You can directly on the spreadsheet and write. In the MS-Office, there is PowerPoint; there is Impress here.
You can use the slides in the direction that you want. There are sufficient pages for creating a slide and background for the presentation. You have functions like animation tricks, diagrams, lines, and others.
We found the page-oriented drawing program useful. If you want to work on complex programs and impressive presentations, then you can choose MS Office. But, standard work can be done seamlessly on Apache OpenOffice without any hassle.
It is heartening to know that since it comes with no cloud storage, most firms prefer to use MS Office. You will be glad to know that OpenOffice works effortlessly on most of the primary operating systems seamlessly.
This open-source software is getting major contracts from educational as well as governmental agencies, to replace Microsoft slowly. Though there are many strides to make, it is worthy enough for MS Office.
Summing up, most users tend to ignore alternatives unless it involves money. This suite is based on original projects and UI. When you eventually decide to make the switch one day, you can do so using the software.
It comes with no price, a small learning curve, and no ribbon menu. If you are a small firm looking to make cost-cutting decisions, you can begin making use of open-source software like OpenOffice.
We hoped you liked our review on some of the best open source software tools available in the market in 2021. As we promised at the beginning of this post, we have covered all kinds of software that are mostly free to use.
You can be a programmer, a website developer, or even an artist; we have something on this list for you. Did we find something out of the ordinary in this open-source software list? Most of the software comes highly rated and with a barrage of features embedded in them.
But, we found two open-source software that was outstanding. They are Brave Browser and LibreOffice. These software come with robust features, simple to use, and safe. They can be used on all primary OS, just like most of the other open-source tools listed.
Based on our research, we know that you can find a mountain of open-source software tools in the market. Some of them probably deserve to be here. Maybe in the near future, we may update this list and discuss their worthiness.
Did we miss something on the open-source software discussed?
Do write to us and make your case.
We will be waiting.